5 practical ways to slow down in this crazy fast paced world

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

How do you drink your morning tea? Are you downing it in big glugs as you are rushing out the door, or are you sitting down and savouring each sip? The answer to this question can be an indication of how you live your life in general. Are you constantly rushing around, on the go, multi tasking and always looking to the next thing, or are you calm, considered, balanced and in control?  Do you feel like it would be good for you to slow you pace down?

I’ve noticed that my pace has calmed down quite a bit recently. Rather than always rushing around at 100 miles an hour, I’ve started feeling a lot more balanced and calm. I am taking in the present moment a lot more that I used to. This change is partly as a result of me feeling more content with life and in part due to me being more considered about living in the present moment.

The change in pace feels good and I wanted to share some things that you can do to slow your own pace down:

1) Disconnect from your phone

To focus on really being in the present moment and not always trying to do a few things at once, try to have time apart from your phone, especially if you are with friends. If you are out with your mates, try leaving your phone in your pocket or your bag to resist temptation of checking it. I’ve still not perfected this, but I am definitely getting better and as a consequence am feeling more connected to the present.

Next time you are with friends, try leaving your phone away. If you can, don’t get it out and look at it for the whole time you are there. See how you feel. Hopefully you’ll feel more connected to the now and less distracted.

2) Notice what makes you happy

One of the things I have noticed is that small things make me feel really happy. Often we don’t spend enough time thinking about these things. We can be caught up living our lives and not take any time to acknowledge and revel in these small things.

Some of the things I have noticed recently that make me happy are:

  • Waking up early at the weekend and reading my book in bed
  • Taking a long soak in a bubble bath
  • Feeling the sun on my face
  • Spending time with the people I love
  • Getting into my freshly changed bed
  • Getting up early and achieving loads before I get to work
  • Perfecting a new recipe

Try making a list of all the little things that make you happy. (Making lists also makes me happy!)

3) Breathe

Focusing on your breath can be so powerful. There are many ways to do this, you can do it through practicing yoga, meditation or just quite simply standing outside and taking big gulps of fresh air. It sounds very simple, but the impact can be immense. It works on really calming your energy and slowing you down.

Next time you feel out of control or anxious, try taking 5 minutes out and taking a few really deep breaths. Notice the impact it has on your energy.

4) Observe your surroundings

Last year I decided to do a walking tour of Budapest, where I had lived at that point for over 6 months, what I saw on that tour horrified me. The tour was of the street art of the city and it was on streets that I had walked most days for the past 6 months and yet I had barely noticed any of it previously. It seems that I’d been walking around with my eyes shut, no doubt half the time distracted on my phone. Now I try to take extra effort to really take in my surroundings as I walk.

Next time you leave the house, pay 100% attention to everything. Observe everything around you. Did you notice things you’ve not seen before? It can be scary to realize how little you took in before.

5) Enjoy your tea

This doesn’t necessarily have to be about tea! (although it works great if you love a brew!) Basically, enjoy whatever you are doing right now. Be in the moment. Be present. Slow down. Savour it. Do one thing at a time. Stop rushing.

Whatever you do next after reading this article, try taking your time and really enjoy it. Focus all your energy on that one thing and notice how it makes you feel.

 

Do you live your life at 100 miles an hour? Try following the 5 tips above to see if it helps you slow down. What works for you? Do you feel better at a slow or a fast pace? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Share with anyone you know who might benefit from slowing their pace down.

 

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